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Blackhawks prospect Henri Jokiharju to play for Finland at 2018 World Championship

The 18-year-old defenseman scored 12 goals and 71 points this season in the WHL.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman prospect Henri Jokiharju will play for Finland men’s national team at next month’s World Championship. The tournament is from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

Jokiharju, 18, was drafted 29th overall in the 2017 NHL draft by the Blackhawks. The 6-foot, 181-pound defenseman scored 12 goals and had 59 assists in 63 games this season for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL. He added eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 playoff games.

The Oulu, Finland native is no stranger to representing Finland. The right-handed defenseman scored two goals and had two assists in five games during last year’s World Junior Championship and played in the the WJC-under-18 tournament in 2016. It’ll be Jokiharju’s first Worlds tournament.

As noted by Scott Powers of The Athletic, the tournament will serve as a good measuring stick to see if Jokiharju will be able to make the jump from the WHL to the NHL for next season.

Jokiharju was ranked No. 7 in Second City Hockey’s 2017 “Top 25 Under 25” series. He is the third highest ranked defenseman on the list and highest ranked player overall to not see NHL action, yet.

Jokiharju is among five confirmed Hawks players set to compete at Worlds. Forwards Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane and defenseman Connor Murphy will suit up for the United States, while forward Tomas Jurco will play for Slovakia. It’ll be Kane’s first appearance at Worlds in 10 years as he captains Team USA.

Forward Nick Schmaltz is still considering playing for the U.S.